Making Hide Glue


A few years ago at Echoes in Time I traded a copy of The Adventures of Urban Scout dvd to Blond Bear for a little pine drum with little hides wrapped on both sides. I kept it for a while but I didn’t really beat on it often, and it started to take up much needed space in my room. So I scrapped the pine part and kept the little pieces of hide thinking they would come in handy for something in the future. I realized not long ago, that I could turn them into hide glue. So start, I cut them up into little pieces.


I put the pieces in a pot and filled it with water.


I turned up the heat to boil it.


5 hours later, it still looked pretty much the same:


I turned down the heat and let it simmer for a while, but eventually I just turned it up to high and about 24 hours later, the chips still had not completely disintegrated. So I decided to scoop them out and let what I had dry out. A gross, sticky film formed around the top of the water line, a good sign that it has glue-like properties.


I put the leftover hide chips in a tupperware and put them in the fridge to cook down again later.


I poured the water into an old pan and let it sit in the sun for a couple days.


Check out the gross filmy glue. Hide glue has water solubility so it came off very easily.


After two days of sitting, it still had moisture, but had more like a jello-type quality to it.



After a few more days it became dry and brittle. If it still has flex, it doesn’t appear to have fully dried. Once it fully dried it snapped and cracked out of this pan into little glue chips.


To use it as a glue, I simply crush up the chips in a small pan, add some water and heat it up. To get the desired consistency you just cook the water off and paint the glue on.

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3 Comments on “Making Hide Glue”

  1. Well that’s *one way* to make Jello, haha ;P very nice. Washing off pans easily is a good plus.

  2. Great post! I’ve used hide glue many times, but have never made it. For arrow point hafting, I use gelatin packets from the store. For bow backing, I have just purchased granulated hide glue. I’m going to give this a try!

  3. About this whole glue thing. Scout, I dunno if you watch Dual Survival (a new awesome show about survival situations, featuring Cody Lundin (primitive skills expert) & Dave Canterbury), but tonight Dave made an arrow out of local wood, duct tape, and an arrowhead made from glass bottle litter in the Pacific Northwest rainforest. To assist in attaching the arrowhead, he used – pine resin. I’m sure you can find plenty of that around where you live, and unlike this hide glue, it’s ready-to-go and available everywhere!